All 20 workers inside an industrial building were able to safely escape Wednesday after a three-alarm fire in northeast Wichita that included exploding propane cylinders, fire officials said .
The fire started just after 5 p.m. in the 2100 block of East 37th Street North in the Coleman factory complex.
Crews who arrived reported seeing “multiple explosions and fires outside the building,” Fire Chief Tammy Snow said at a press briefing.
Snow said firefighters saw what looked like propane cylinders explode and shoot north of the building. The fire spread inside the building and two caravans caught fire.
Additional fire crews were called and were able to help put out the fire. Firefighters used their PPE equipment due to the presence of hazardous materials, Snow said.
“We have to watch out for explosions,” Snow said. “Those of you who were able to get close enough to the scene saw these propane cylinders come across the parking lot.”
No injuries were reported. An employee who handled the propane tanks refused EMS services, according to Snow.
“It’s quite traumatic for someone. He was mostly just more anxious and nervous than anything else,” Snow said.
The fire is under control, but crews will remain on site for about an hour to ensure nothing else happens. Snow said the damage was extensive.